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Preparing for our Tripawd
On Friday we were running around like chickens without their heads. That morning I spent my time cleaning and getting the house ready for his return. We got new rugs to cover the hardwood floor and a big special bed just for him.
The excitement to see him was building quickly. I hadn’t seen him since we left him on Tuesday night after going to the vet so I was practically bouncing off the walls. Around 11am I called the vet to make sure he could come home that day. We were told, yes, Kobalt could come home that day. He was doing really well and the vet felt he was okay to go home. But then she gave me the news that turned the world upside down: Kobalt has cancer.
Osteosarcoma Invades our Home
Kobalt was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma. For those who might not know what that is or just want a refresher this website has a pretty good run down:
After I hung up the phone all I could hear was ringing in my ears and the vet saying “He has cancer….only a month” over and over in my head. I broke down and just cried. How could this happen? Was this our fault? How can we even think about saying goodbye to him yet? I called my husband and told him the news. He was just as devastated as I was.
Once I stopped crying (and calling my mom) I decided that I wasn’t going to be sad right now. We could have a month left with him and I wasn’t going to waste that time being sad. I was going to be the best I could be for Kobalt so that he could do the same. After Kobalt’s amputation, I knew that we probably couldn’t afford traditional cancer treatments (chemo, radiation, etc.). So I started researching like crazy. I bought “The Dog Cancer Survival Guide” by Dr. Dremian Dressler and poured through the various forums and blogs here on Tripawds.
Once my husband got home we both held each other and cried. We both felt that the universe was just unfair. No pet parent wants to have the conversations we did. How are we going to handle this? Can we afford chemo? What options do we have? What are our goals after this diagnosis?
How are we going to handle this battle?
We decided that yes, we can handle this. We love Kobalt and will always love him. This diagnosis wouldn’t change our love for him or his love for life. Chemo was out of the question. Kobalt’s amputation cost us $1500.00 USD and that was all of our current savings. There was no way we could afford the costly process of doing chemo. As for our options, we had both found that natural remedies and a holistic approach work very well in dogs. Our goals were simple: enjoy any and all the time we have left with him. Spoiling Kobalt wasn’t going to be a difficult task, but this time we were going to do it with his health specifically in mind. We wanted to give him every chance to continue fighting if that is what he wanted too. We keep reminding ourselves that: Dogs don’t have an expiration date.
Heading to the Vet
After our long tiring conversation we perked ourselves up and got into the car to go pick Kobalt up. When we got to the vet’s office the receptionist said, “Oh no!! You’re here to pick Kobalt up!” Apparently, while at the vet office he won the hearts of every single person who worked there. One of the vet techs was at the reception desk and went back to tell everyone that Kobalt was going home. From the back we heard a resounding “Awwww man!”. Despite our sadness we couldn’t help but laugh. Kobalt lights up any room he walks into. He is a gentle giant that (used to) give rambunctious toddlers rides on his back (his own choice). When he originally hurt his leg he never once growled at us or anyone else who looked at it despite his pain. Neither of us were surprised that everyone fell in love with him.
Kobalt goes home
After the enthusiastic send off and medications from the vet, we finally got Kobalt in the car to head home. He was trying so hard to jump in all by himself, but finally relented and let us lift him into the car. When we got home he immediately wanted some water and had no problems. At first it was shocking to see him without all his signature fluffy fur, but his incision looked healthy.
Right after drinking his fill he walked into the living room and after some coaxing climbed onto his new orthopedic bed. We could tell he was a little sore by the way he was walking, but he didn’t protest when I laid down with him to cuddle.
The rest of our day was emotional. Between being thrilled he was home and the sadness of his diagnosis we flipped between laughter and quiet tears. He had his first phantom limb pain when he tried to scoot closer to me. As a result of all the research we had done, we were prepared for them. Our vet also prescribed Gabapentin so hopefully we will not see another phantom limb pain for a while.
Two days later
Today is Sunday and Kobalt is doing beautifully. He is regaining his old energy and even tried to chase a squirrel this morning (despite being on a leash, and to the consternation of both of us). Our sweet boy is thriving. Being a Tripawd hasn’t even slowed him down and he is still the same dog we have always loved. His incision is looking great and despite his new fur growing in and being itchy, he hasn’t needed the cone of shame. The new bed we bought him has been a big hit. You would think he is glued to it if he didn’t prance around in excitement when it is time to eat.
The positivity he exudes is contagious and we can’t help but smile when he is around. We have decided to follow the Cancer Diet and give him K9 immunity, Apocaps, and a few other thing to keep him this happy for as long as we can. There is definitely some optimism as the vet told us that there was no cancer in his chest or blood work. Having him around is a blessing that we will always be thankful for no matter what happens. He can do this and so can we.
Thank you for all your comments and inspiration. This journey is just beginning and all the support helps. <3